Jonathan Chait is the New Republic/Los Angeles Times columnist who, on September 18, 2003, began a column with the memorable phrase “I hate President George W. Bush.”
He was my guest on February 13 of this year for a lengthy interview, and assured the audience he could analyze Bush objectively when required to do so:
I think I’m pretty good at being cool and rational in analyzing what Bush does. And if he’s doing something that I agree with, I can say so, even though I feel that he is a horrible president. I mean, for instance, I supported the Iraq war forcefully. I wrote articles, and I took to task some of my fellow liberals for not doing so. So if you’re trying to imply that anger is something that makes me knee-jerk hostile to Bush, so clouded with emotion and rage that I can’t be fair when I think about thim, then no.
Even though all but the loopiest Democrat would concede that Bin Laden is more evil than Bush, that doesn’t mean he’s a greater threat. Bin Laden is hiding somewhere in the mountains, has no weapons of mass destruction and apparently very limited numbers of followers capable of striking at the U.S.
Bush, on the other hand, has wreaked enormous damage on the political and social fabric of the country. He has massively mismanaged a major war, with catastrophic consequences; he has strained the fabric of American democracy with his claims of nearly unchecked power and morally corrupt Gilded Age policies. It’s quite reasonable to conclude that Bush will harm the nation more